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Fri May 30, 2014, 06:53 PM

Drug helps breast cancer patients keep fertility

Source: The Associated Press

CHICAGO

Doctors may have found a way to help young breast cancer patients avoid infertility caused by chemotherapy. Giving a drug to shut down the ovaries temporarily seems to boost the odds they will work after treatment ends, and it might even improve survival, a study found.

"They're really exciting findings" that could help thousands of women each year in the United States alone, said the study's leader, Dr. Halle Moore of the Cleveland Clinic.

"This has implications far beyond breast cancer," for young women with other types of tumors, too, added Dr. Clifford Hudis, breast cancer chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

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Chemotherapy often causes premature ovarian failure, or early menopause. Doctors think that active ovaries are more susceptible to chemo damage, and that making them go dormant and stopping a woman's monthly cycles might help shield them from harm.

"It's basically a temporary menopause to prevent permanent menopause," Moore explained.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/ohio/drug-helps-breast-cancer-patients-keep-fertility/nf9wy/

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